Mikael Silvestre backs Anthony Martial to succeed at Manchester United next season

by Leo Nieboer

Former Manchester United defender and fellow countryman Mikael Silvestre has backed Anthony Martial to succeed at Old Trafford next season.

The 20-year-old couldn’t replicate the brilliance of his first season at Man United under Jose Mourinho last term, managing just eight goals.

However, the Frenchman has pledged his allegiance to Mourinho and looked in fine form during pre-season training ahead of United’s clash with LA Galaxy.

And Silvestre, speaking on Sky Sports, has noted that the youngster has what it takes to hold down a regular place under the Portuguese next term.

“The potential is there,” he said. “It was a disappointing second season, but with young players sometimes it is difficult to get the consistency.”

“I would love to see him back to his best, with a happy face and ready to work hard. Sometimes he just switches off from the game and you can’t expect the manager to give you a second chance if you do that because the expectation and the pressure that the club is on, you have to be fully focused for 90 minutes.

“I think Anthony knows that and he has been told and hopefully he will learn from that.”

The last thing we as supporters want to do with Martial is expect brilliance every week. Setting such lofty standards for a player who, at the age of just 20, remains firmly in the developmental stage of his career is a self-defeating exercise.

What Martial needs instead is a degree of patience from the watching world. He is unquestionably talented – frighteningly talented, even – and we ought to remember that.

Jumping on his back will achieve very little; the youngster has a number of years ahead of him, and the fact that people already expect so much of him serves as a compliment in itself.

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